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The knowledge bank of ESA’s R&D programmes

Radio Science Investigation with AIM

Programme Reference
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Radio Science Investigation with AIM

The Asteroid Impact Mission (AIM) is a candidate ESA mission to the binary Near-Earth Asteroid (65803) Didymos. While its main objective is to demonstrate new technologies for future deep-space missions, AIM will also characterise for the first time a binary asteroid system, providing an understanding of its formation and of the origin of the Solar System.

This main purpose of this activity was to perform numerical simulations of a radio science experiment (RSE) with AIM, focused at its precise orbit determination within the Didymos system, providing an assessment of the accuracies achievable in the estimation of the scientific parameters of interest, like the heliocentric orbit of the system, the masses and the extended gravity fields of Didymos and Didymoon, and their rotational states.


(Update 2023: AIM has been reenvisioned as Hera and is due to launch in 2024)

Executive summary